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Banda Aceh homeless get permanent shelter

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EFFORTS TO move the thousands of homeless Acehnese out of refugee camps and into more permanent accommodation were under way this week.

Tents have been erected all over the undamaged parts of Banda Aceh to shelter the displaced.

Many government buildings still standing have also been handed over to the tsunami victims.

But the need for more permanent structures is heightened by the arrival of refugees from nearby communities on the devastated west coast.

Large numbers of survivors are walking north from their smashed villages into the provincial capital, seeking shelter and clean water.

To address this, aid agency World Vision has signed an agreement with the provincial Public Works department to build four 'temporary accommodation centres' along the coast.

Local contractors are helping to build the timber structures which will accommodate up to 4,500 people.

Work has already started on the fi rst, at Lhong, south of Banda Aceh.

Each will provide clean water, and separated spaces within the units for families to live and sleep.

AutoCAD engineer on a Halcrow project in Banda Aceh, Mitzuar Arsyad, is living in a refugee camp at a government building.

He welcomed moves toward longer-term sites, predicting that the government would move people on in around two to three months.

'We have a supply of water, but it's not every day, ' he added.

Sometimes it's enough, sometimes it isn't.' IL

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